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No Action from Legislature to Start Oklahoma Teacher Walkout

No Action from Legislature to Start Oklahoma Teacher Walkout

Tens of thousands of teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma are planning to take part in massive rallies and classroom walkouts demanding for better pay and resources.

Frigid conditions didn't deter teachers from protesters at the state Capitol on Monday, the last weekday of the Kentucky legislative session.

Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., already signed legislation that would up teacher pay by about $6,100 through an increase in taxes on certain goods, such as cigarettes and fuel.

Oklahoma ranks 47th among states and the District of Columbia in public school revenue per student, almost $3,000 below the national average, while its average teacher salary of $45,276 ranked 49th before the latest raises, according to the most recent statistics from the National Education Association.

In Oklahoma, the walkouts have impacted public schools across the state and an estimated 200 districts are closed today because of the protests. It's the blasted teacher's union. Out of 218 schools that supported the walkout before the bill passed, 91 still supported the teachers' decision to walkout and 22 were only closing for April 2. Music teacher Noah Karvelis told NPR that he often has 40 students in a classroom with just seven pianos, and "The math just doesn't add up. I need a new hose and a raise". Demonstrators protested perceived low pay and education funding, according to The Arizona Republic.

Organisers were predicting a turnout of 30,000 in Oklahoma City, where aerial television images showed a large crowd, with many in red shirts, gathered outside the state capitol.

It's a small portion of the Sidney School District's valuation that comes from valuation ag land, but the district is developing more offerings in its ag education electives. They held signs and prepared to raise their voices as lawmakers returned to the Capitol to possibly vote on a new two-year state budget.

Disrespect for teachers is certainly at play in Republican-controlled states that pay salaries that leave teachers working second, third, and even sixth jobs, but it's not just that.

"If this budget is not in the best interest of public education students and public service, then we will react", Winkler said.

Germany arrests fugitive ex-leader of Catalonia
Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has been detained in Germany , the Reuters news agency reported, citing his lawyer. Puigdemont was in Finland Friday when he learned Finnish police could be preparing to arrest him.


Most teachers were remarkably positive about their schools: 88 per cent said their schools "set high expectations for students", 76 per cent said "every student has challenging (stretch) learning goals", and 91 per cent said "we effectively include students in our classes whatever their needs, strengths and identities".

"There will be teachers from schools that are open who will join us at the Capitol".

Teachers by the thousands also demonstrated in the Kentucky state capital Frankfort.

Teachers, he said, have grown deeply distrustful of state lawmakers who repeatedly pledged to give them a raise and to restore cuts to education, but failed to do so. State leaders say it's critical to fix the pension crisis, which has as one of the worst shortfalls in the US.

On April 2, OTU is organizing a rally at the state Capitol building in Oklahoma City, where they hope to bring out as many students as they can. None of that was effective, and so I think it was a necessary move to gain the attention of the state, to gain the attention of the public.

Brittain Nowak, who teaches English at Cache High School, told Oklahoma News 4, "The part of the funding that hurts the high school the most is that we are not able to offer electives for these kids that they deserve".

Nemes said he believes Republican lawmakers have enough time to educate the public on what's included in the budget and pension reform bills ahead of the November elections.

In Kentucky, the educators said the pension changes and budget cuts were a breaking point in their relationship with state government.

"I know it's the right thing to do", Self said, standing in the kitchen of a colleague who hosted an arts-and-crafts sign-making party.


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